Tuesday, May 25, 2010


A recent development with my Benito that I have to share: He's made up his own verb

substitute that, in his mind, works for just about everything. It's the word "spam." What cracks us up about this is that we don't eat spam (dee-sgusting), we've never talked about spam, and as far as I know, he's never seen spam. To him it's just a made-up word that sounds like a combo of several other action words (like blam, splash, boom, etc.), so it functions as the end-all, be-all of verbs.

A couple of examples. Today at the water park he said, "Mama, did you see that blue bucket? It just spammed the water from the sky; it spammed that little girl on the head!" Another example, "Did she try to get rid of that rat and spam him in the ceiling?" (from the movie, Ratatouille).

The possibilities are endless, I tell you, and Michael and I work HARD to keep a straight face when he says it. We know that this funny little phase will end like so many others, so we're soaking it in and laughing it up while we still can.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Okay. The neighborhood we live in is slightly ghetto, which bothered me a little when we first moved in, but it's been six years, and I love our little house, and I've gotten used to most everything about the surrounding streets and houses. Except for one thing.

Can anybody, anybody, explain to me what on EARTH these people are thinking who paint the trim and shutters of their houses in these neon paint colors? Because I have tried to figure it out, tried to "take a walk in their shoes," so to speak, to understand, but I've got nothing.

Maybe they like color? Great, then wouldn't they want colors that look good and actually compliment each other?

Maybe they thought it would look less neon-y than it does - maybe in the store that puke green looked...alive and inspiring? Well, they were dead wrong, as is evidenced by...the evidence, so isn't it worth it to either exchange for a new color and redo it (would be to me), or even buy a new can, so your house doesn't look so ghetto-fabulous?

Maybe they let their three year old daughter pick out the flamingo pink now adorning their drain pipes? Then they're stupid.

Maybe they're color-blind? So what. So is my husband, and he has others who love him who will intervene in tragic color-choice situations, to help him along life's journey, as I'm sure these other people do as well.

Anybody? Anybody? Got any new ideas? Because mine are all exhausted, and my eyes hurt from looking at the throw-up of color on these peoples' homes.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Oh dearest, loveliest Kitchen-Aid Mixer....where have you been all my life?

Had I but known how effortlessly you mix, how cleanly and neatly you perform, I would have traveled great distances (to Searcy, AR. to pick it up from my mother-in-law), I would have scaled the highest heights (say wha-?), I would have....shelled out the money to buy you myself, but I sure am thankful that I didn't have to.

A big shout out to Vicky for this mind-blowing bit of kitchen gear that she no longer needs, because it changed my life yesterday (slight exaggeration, but man it sure is going to make things easier).

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


1. It is currently 92,000 words long (350 pages or so).

2. I have one, count it, ONE chapter left to write; there are twenty-seven chapters total.

3. I am in the process of heavy-duty editing from beginning to end.

4. I've asked three of my dear, trust-worthy friends to take a month to read, edit, and provide feedback while I do some more research and preparation to send off query letters to literary agents in hopes that one of them will decide to represent me in the publishing world (EEK!!).

5. At the end of the editing process, I'm going to blog here and ask all of you wonderful, beautiful people to spend a day (the day I send off my letters) in prayer with this book in mind. It would mean a great deal to me, and I believe the message God has given me would help a lot of young women out there (speaking from past experience with my own struggles).

6. I am also mulling over the thought of re-joining facebook for a few reasons: a) for more exposure b) for contact/networking purposes c) for writing purposes. I'd really love to know if anyone out there has found a successful way to keep FB from becoming a compulsive habit. I'd love to use it as a simple tool, but have found that to be difficult for me personally.

7. Until I figure out what needs to be done with copyrights, etc., I probably won't be disclosing much on here about the novel, but for those who are curious, it falls under the Christian fiction category, and is more specifically geared toward young adult women.

8. I have to say that Michael is amazing because he has been so patient and SO supportive, believing in me as I've worked on this for over a YEAR (since April 2009). My mom is amazing because she has read every bit and piece of the darn thing and has heard every idea, possibly, or plot-line you can imagine. Both of them are the only reason I'm so close to finishing. I hit a couple of 2-3 month ruts where I thought about chunking it altogether, but they kept me on track.

9. I'll update again when I'm ready to petition you all for prayers and support for this year-long project. Thanks for reading about it, and for caring about something I care about!

Friday, May 7, 2010


Haven't done one in a while and I've got a few things I'd like to mention, so here goes:

1) Super Glue -- seriously?? This stuff fixes ANYthing! Wheel fell off (or was pulled off) a toy car? Check. The back of a picture frame fell off? Check. Broken piece from a decoration? Check. And about a million more I can't think of right now. This stuff is The. Best. especially since Bennett really is in an exploratory, break-it-then-try-to-fix-it phase.

2) Ritz Crakers -- Now you might be thinking, "Crackers? What the smack?" But if you knew my baby the way do, if you only knew what a picky eater he has turned out to be, how half the time he won't eat half of what I put in front of him, but that I have a 100% success rate with these babies, you'd be loving yourself some Ritz, too. He could seriously polish off half a sleeve in one sitting, which is good because not much goes into that little mouth when he's got his teeth clenched and lips pursed, shaking his head "NO WAY!"....and I thought the red-headed disposition didn't apply to him - hee :)

3) Netflix -- because they have this new thing where you can download hundreds of movies instantly and for free (well, for $10 a month) to your Wii and also do the snail mail thing one at a time for the new releases. This is fabulous news for me because a) I'm not really a TV-show addict, but I love myself a good movie, especially on laundry folding day during the boys' naps. and b) it is a far better replacement for using the library to try to get my movie-fix - more efficient, more choices, no late fees. Genius. Oh, and even though I'm not a TV show addict, Michael and I watched the whole first season of Lost in like three sittings back a LOOONG time ago, but then couldn't keep up with it after that. So what have we downloaded for FREE to our Wii to watch ANY time we want? Seasons 2, 3, 4 and 5, and we're watching it all little by little together. Love it!

And the things I'm not so fond of on this particular Friday?

1) Southlake Town Center -- Because really? It's so crowded and it's so near impossible to find a parking spot, it's just not worth my efforts anymore (side note: I'm pretty sure part of this opinion comes from having my two rascally wily boys with me all the time - if I went by myself or with a friend with an unlimited amount of time to shop, my affections would most likely be rekindled). For now, it's a royal pain in my side.

2) Doing dishes -- I have a mountain calling my name. And they never end. And you have to do 3-4 things to get one load done (rinse, load, unload, repeat). And your hands get yucky, which I REALLY can't stand. And sometimes some people don't rinse their own dishes off when they should so they're even nastier when you get to them. And after you've worked and gotten hot and sweaty to cook dinner and then there are a bunch of dishes left from it, even when your fabulouso husband is helping you, it's still discouraging. I'm just saying.

And there are all of my pearls of wisdom and insightfulness for the day.


I had my "special" moment of the week this morning. We had a birthday party to go to at a jump place a good distance away (about 20 minutes), and I spent the morning packing our bags, wrapping the birthday boy's present, getting directions, dressing the boys and myself up in our "party garb," etc etc.

When we got the invitation in the mail a week or so ago, I remember registering the fact that the party was scheduled for Friday, and I planted the thought in my head that it was for May 7th.

So...we load up, stop off at Michael's school to get the umbrella stroller out of his car, then drive the distance, all the while talking about how much fun Bennett's going to have with Isaiah and Belle at the party...

We get there, I unload in frenzied mode (we're about 15 minutes late, which I feel bad about), we walk through this large building to the back corner to find the actual jump room. I pull out my invitation ticket and say to the lady up front "We're here for Isaiah's party." She looks at me blankly and I think "uh-oh..." Then she looks at the ticket and says in the sweetest voice, "This party is on the 14th. Next week." She points to the date written plain as the nose on my face, right smack in the middle of the invitation, which I obviously didn't glance at once to double check. Nice. She then tells me it's $5 Friday if I just want to stay. So that's what we did. Because we'd driven all that way. Because we were loaded down with all our stuff, and because poor Bennett was SOOOO excited.

This place ended up being more fun than the one we usually go to near our house, and Bennett was pretty stoked at the idea of making the trek out there again next Friday, so it all turned out fine. Still, definitely a "special" morning for me.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


We went to the zoo today and I had a conversation with a couple of friends about the difference between boys and girls. It really is amazing to me how different they truly are. I'm so thankful to be a mommy of boys because I know I wouldn't have picked up on these differences or truly understood them without my own two little adventures (all you moms of girls out there don't go getting your feathers ruffled, because I would still love to have a little girl of my own, too, whether she be biological or adopted - I deeply desire to experience BOTH).

While we were looking around at the animals and running in and out of exhibits, there was a stark contrast between the sweet little girl that was with us and Bennett and his boy buddy. The boys were hollering and darting around like chickens with no heads, while the little lady strolled from sight to sight, quietly taking everything in. It was so cute and so impossible to try to get pictures of all of them (I'll post our efforts once they're e-mailed to me), and it's such a blessing to watch God's plan for boys and girls unfold before my eyes - He really did make us different, and He really did give us ingrained purposes and desires. Pretty awesome.

Along with this, my friend and I were laughing about the dirty looks we OFTEN get from moms with girls when our boys jump around and yell and roll in the dirt and splash in the puddles and race in circles around other peoples' strollers and squeeze in front of groups of people no matter how tiny the space. There are some behaviors that are inappropriate and are taught and re-taught as being okay or not okay, but there are SO MANY behaviors that are a direct result of their gender, and there is nothing to be done. About the time Bennett turned 2 1/2 or so, I realized this and stopped wanting to change his boyish behaviors. I correct and discipline him when he is wrong, when he does something ugly, when he needs to be more considerate of others' feelings etc., but a while back, I began to delight in the characteristics that make boys, boys.

My oldest son is an absolute mess, he's a textbook strong-willed child, and he keeps me constantly moving and changing and redirecting - I'm in a perpetual state of living on my toes, and I. LOVE. IT. Yes, sometimes I want to eat my hair, and yes, sometimes I feel like my eyes are going to roll back into my head from exhaustion, but Boy Howdy we sure do have fun. Never a dull moment in our house, especially since his brother is following in his footsteps in many ways.

And since I'm kinda sorta posting about my Benito anyway, I'll give a brief update on him (he's almost 3 1/2 - YIKES, where does the time go??):

--Favorite phrases: "Hey, Mama, I gotta deal! How about we _____." (this is usually a negotiation about eating candy, watching a movie, or playing outside).
"I told you and told you and told you not to do that!" (usually to Jasper, or to Daddy when Michael is purposely agitating him).
"Oh, THANK YOU Mama, THANK YOU!" (usually comes after one of his "deals" working out, or after unexpectedly getting something he's been wanting or has earned).
"Will that make Jesus happy/sad?" (thinking more and more on this, which is obviously wonderful to hear).
"Okay, Mama. I will, I will." (when he's in an agreeable mood and I've asked him to do something to help me).
"Just a little spanking, or a hard spanking?" (I'm sure you can guess when this comes).

--Favorite things: his car collection, playing with his neighbors down the street, going for walks to see the fish pond, his best buddy Cason, going to Let's Jump, playing with Mimi, the water park (which he cannot WAIT to go to again - he asks almost everyday when we'll get to start going), candy, reading new books, sidewalk chalk, chasing birds, agitating his brother, listening to his favorite songs in the car, chicken nuggets with ketchup, gum, taking dishes to the sink to wash them out (beautiful), the playscape at church, watching movies (sigh), playing flashlight tag, dancing and singing songs he knows, etc etc etc.

(pictures of the zoo to follow)